Feature Stories Campus Events

Lisa Hedrick ’08L Named Richmond Bar Association’s Young Lawyer of the Year

Lisa J. Hedrick, a member of the law class of 2008 and a partner in the firm of Hirschler Fleischer, has been named the 2016 Young Lawyer of the Year by the Richmond Bar Association.

“This achievement is reflective of Lisa’s outstanding leadership in the practice of law,” said James L. Weinberg, president of Hirschler Fleischer, in a statement issued by the firm. “Her dedication to achieving business-oriented results further advances the firm’s ability to provide quality counsel, and we are pleased to see her hard work recognized.”

Hedrick’s practice areas include mergers and acquisitions, capital raising, private equity and general business law. At Hirschler Fleischer, Hedrick is a member of the Women’s Initiatives Network and the Recruiting Committee.

Outside of the firm, Hedrick is an active member of the American Bar Association’s Mergers and Acquisitions Committee, the Virginia Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. Additionally, she is actively involved in the National Association of Women Business Owners’ Richmond Chapter and the Richmond Bar Association’s Business Section Executive Committee.

Hedrick earned her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary.

Mellon Seminar on Human Rights in Africa Presents Next Lecture by James J. Hentz

James J. Hentz, professor and chair of the Department of International Studies and Political Science at Virginia Military Institute, will lecture at Washington and Lee University as part of the Mellon Seminar on Human Rights in Africa. The event will be Feb. 10 at 5 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

Hentz will speak on “War across States in Africa.” The talk is free and open to the public. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

“Many of Africa’s post-Cold War wars have been misunderstood and don’t fit any of our traditional categories used to explain war,” said Hentz. “They are not between states; they are not civil wars; and they are not the so-called new wars. They are a new phenomenon that should be called wars across states.”

He will look at the conflicts centered on Mali in Northeast Africa and one centered on the Democratic Republic of Congo to illustrate the nature of wars across states.

Hentz is the co-editor of “New and Critical Security and Regionalism: Beyond the Nation State” (2003); editor of “Obligation of Empire: United States’ Grand Strategy for a New Century” (2004); and author of “South Africa and the Logic of Regional Cooperation” (2005). His most recent book is “The Nature of War in Africa” (forthcoming). He also is editor of The African Security Handbook (Taylor & Francis/Routledge).

He has contributed articles to journals and edited volumes, including Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics, Journal of Modern African Studies and Hoover Digest.

In 2014, he won the Virginia Social Science Association (VSSA) award for scholarship in International Studies and Political Science. In 2007, Hentz won the Outstanding Faculty Award from the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia and was awarded the Duignan Distinguished Visiting Fellowship at Stanfard University’s Hoover Institute. In 2003, he was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the Miklós Zrinyi National Defense University, Hungary.

Lessons of the WDBJ-TV 7 Tragedy

Two key members of Roanoke’s WDBJ-TV 7 staff will visit Washington and Lee University Feb. 3 and tell their stories of the tragedy last August when two of their colleagues were shot and killed on live television.

General manager Jeff Marks, the spokesman for his station during the crisis, and reporter Joe Dashiell, a 1980 W&L graduate, will share the lessons they learned on subjects ranging from workplace violence to the unfiltered nature of social media.

The discussion will take place at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Auditorium inside Elrod Commons. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 540-458-8212.

On Aug. 26, 2015, reporter Alison Parker and photographer Adam Ward were conducting a live interview on WDBJ’s morning newscast when a gunman approached and started firing at them. Both Parker and Ward died at the scene. The woman they interviewed was seriously wounded but survived. The gunman, a former employee, later killed himself.

Marks joined his anchor team on the set and spent much of the day releasing information as it became available and providing a calming voice. Dashiell spent many days covering various angles of the story.

Photographer Bruce Young, a 1985 W&L graduate, was working for a competing Roanoke TV station that morning. He will offer his perspective, as well. Young has since joined WDBJ as a morning news photographer.

Kevin Finch, W&L journalism and mass communications professor, will serve as moderator.

Biological Anthropologist Helen Fisher to Give Questioning Passion Lecture

Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist, author and professor, will lecture on Feb. 4 at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. Her lecture is part of Washington and Lee University’s year-long Questioning Passion series.

Fisher will speak on “Lust, Romance, Attachment: The Drive to Love and Whom We Choose.” Her talk is free and open to the public.

In her talk, Fisher distinguishes three primary mating drives to explain love at first sight, casual sex and the biological and evolutionary basis of monogamy, adultery and divorce. Using her brain scanning studies of men and women in love, she discusses love addictions, rejection in love, how SSRI antidepressants can jeopardize romantic love and attachment and how to sustain romantic passion in a long-term partnership.

She is the chief scientific advisor to Match.com and chemistry.com and collects data from her questionnaire, the Fisher Temperament Inventory Test. Looking at four styles of thinking and behaving, she reveals how to recognize and influence each temperament and how individuals work, buy, innovate, follow and lead.

Fisher is a leading expert on the biology of human personality and a pioneer in examining the neurochemistry of leadership. Her research in the field of business chemistry has helped determine how biological personality styles can be used to hire, build teams and corporate boards, advertise and succeed at work.

Fisher is a research professor and member of the Center for Human Evolution Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University. She has written five books on the evolution and future of human sexuality, monogamy, adultery and divorce, gender differences in the brain, the chemistry of romantic love, human personality types and why humans fall in love with one person rather than another.

Frank Parsons, Longtime W&L Administrator and Wearer of Many Hats, Dies at 87

Frank Arthur Parsons, who worked in multiple areas of the administration at his alma mater, Washington and Lee University, from 1954 to 1999, died Jan. 28, 2016, in his home at Kendal at Lexington. He was 87.

“It’s hard to know where to begin when describing exactly what Frank did during his 45 years here, because Frank did just about everything,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio.

“His multifaceted career encompassed the integration and coeducation of the student body, both of which enriched W&L, as well as the improvement and expansion of our facilities,” continued Ruscio. “It’s remarkable to think of all the positive changes Frank shepherded and of his devotion to W&L. His legacy will endure for many generations to come.”

Parsons’ positions at W&L included director of publicity; assistant to three W&L presidents (Fred Cole, Robert Huntley, John Wilson); director of institutional research; director of planning and development; university editor; coordinator of capital planning; director of special communications projects; coordinator of facilities planning; director of public relations and information; director of sports information; and director of the news office.

Frank Arthur Parsons was born on May 26, 1928, in Staunton, Virginia. He served in the Army from 1945 to 1948 and 1950 to 1951. While in the service, he wrote for the Pacific Stars & Stripes.

After the military, he worked as the managing editor of the Clifton Forge (Virginia) Daily Review from 1949 to 1950 and during the summers of 1952, 1953 and 1954, while he was an undergraduate at W&L.

Parsons graduated from W&L in 1954 with a B.A. in political science. He belonged to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

He came to work at W&L on Sept. 1, 1954. During his 45 years, he oversaw the fraternity renaissance of the late 1980s. He served on the Coeducation Steering Committee that prepared the university for the arrival of women undergraduates in the mid-1980s. The road that leads to the sorority houses is named Frank Parsons Way for his role in that residential project. The Lenfest Center and Sydney Lewis Hall took shape under his oversight. He oversaw the publication of the book “Come Cheer for Washington and Lee: The University at 250 Years.” He hired Sally Mann as the university photographer and encouraged her budding career.

In 1982, President Huntley told the W&L alumni magazine: “In every success which the school has achieved in the past 15 years, Frank has played a vital and usually essential part.”

In addition to a strong work ethic, Parsons had a waggish sense of humor, as exemplified by what became known as “The Squirrel Memo.” In 1974, when plans for Leyburn Library were underway at the university, he filled out an application for federal assistance under the Higher Education Act. In convoluted bureaucratese, the form asked several questions about the effects of the library’s construction on wildlife. Parsons replied in a matter-of-fact yet tongue-in-cheek way about those animals. “They have no apparent difficulty in adjusting to relocations brought on by non-federally supported projects,” he wrote. “The library would appear to have no capacity for affecting the squirrels’ or other animals’ genes.”

President Huntley soon received a reply from the bemused director of the office within the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. “I salute Washington and Lee and the application preparer anonymous. . . . The mountain of paperwork which confronts me daily somehow seemed much smaller the day I read about the squirrels in Lexington, Virginia.”

The Wall Street Journal picked up the story from a W&L news release, writing approvingly in an Oct. 24, 1974, editorial of Parsons’ memo and HEW’s sense of humor. W&L, in turn, gave Parsons two one-of-a-kind honorary degrees: an M.S. (Master of Squirrels) and a D.F.A. (Doctor of Federal Aid).

For his contributions to the university, Parsons received honors from the students, with the Ring-tum Phi Award, and from alumni, with the Lynchburg Citation from the Lynchburg Alumni Chapter. When he retired in 1999, the city of Lexington issued a proclamation of thanks and appreciation to Parsons “for his sensitive and loyal service to both Washington and Lee and to the City.”

In 2003, Sally Mann and her husband, Larry Mann (a 1970 graduate of W&L), established an endowment in Parsons’ honor that helped fund the first studio art program in photography at the university.

At W&L, Parsons belonged to the academic and leadership honor societies of Phi Beta Kappa, Beta Gamma Sigma and Omicron Delta Kappa. In Lexington, he was an active member of the Fortnightly Club, That Club and the Pub Club.

His community service included the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, the Rockbridge Area Conservation Council, the board of Lime Kiln Arts and the Whetstone Pond Association of Abbott Village, Maine. He served as a deacon of the Manly Memorial Baptist Church. After retirement, he directed the restoration and rebuilding of the Lexington Presbyterian Church following the devastating 2000 fire.

He is survived by his daughter, Laura Parsons. Parsons’ wife, Henrietta “Henny” Hoylman Parsons, died in 1997; their son, Gregory, passed away in 1973.

A service to celebrate the life and legacy of Frank Parsons will take place on Saturday, Feb. 6, at 1 p.m. in Lee Chapel on the W&L campus. The Revs. William M. Klein, pastor of Lexington Presbyterian Church, and J. Michael Wilkins, pastor of Manly Memorial Baptist Church, will officiate. A reception will follow in the Hotchkiss Alumni House at Washington and Lee. The service will be livestreamed: http://livestream.com/wlu/frank-parsons

Read a lengthy profile of Frank Parsons from the Summer 1999 alumni magazine, published on the occasion of his retirement from the university.


W&L to Show Film “Cry, the Beloved Country” Feb. 4

“Cry the Beloved Country,” the 1995 film depicting the struggles of two families — one black and white — in pre-apartheid South Africa will be shown Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., at Washington and Lee University’s Stackhouse Theater.

The movie, based on Alan Paton’s 1948 novel and starring James Earl Jones and Richard Harris, is being presented by W&L’s Center for International Education with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. It is the second in a series of African films as part of the university’s 2015-16 Seminar on Human Rights in Africa.

Admission is free and open to the public. A 30-minute discussion will follow the screening. Complimentary refreshments will be served.

The first major film to be made and released in post-apartheid South Africa , “Cry, the Beloved Country” raises questions about race, friendship, community and the possibility of reconciliation in a deeply divided country.

Personal Harmony: Professor Joseph Martinez débuts folk music album

Joseph David Martinez, associate professor of theater, dance and film studies, has released his first album of folk songs, “Everybody Says Goodbye,” recorded with the band Goshen Pass.

“I began writing songs in the 1960s,” he said. “I bought my first acoustic guitar in 1965 when I was 16 years old — it cost me $69 — with money I had earned from my summer job. Inspired by singer-songwriters like Dylan, Joan Baez, Donovan and, of course, The Beatles, I became hooked on songwriting and have been writing songs ever since. At this point, I’ve written well over 100 songs that I’m not ashamed of, and many more terrible ones that I’ve thrown away.”

He said the album is a “culmination of a long-held dream to create a professionally produced album of original songs.” Martinez handles lead vocals, plays guitar and wrote all but one of the songs, a traditional mountain ballad, “Wayfarin’ Stranger.”

Martinez, who joined W&L in 1983, has taught acting classes and conducted research on violence in entertainment. His publications include “Combat Mime, a Non-Violent Approach to Stage Violence” and “The Swords of Shakespeare: An Illustrated Guide to Stage Combat Choreography in the Plays of Shakespeare.”

“The professional theater is a demanding career,” he noted, “not to mention raising a family, teaching and working in my apple orchard. I’ve never had the time to devote myself to creating an album. However, now I am on phased retirement, and my children are raised and out of the house. So, two years ago, I got together with Graham Spice, and we began to lay some vocal and guitar tracks down so that I could determine which of my songs I would like to include on this first album.” (Spice is the audio engineer of music at W&L and the son of emeritus music professor Gordon Spice.)

Martinez also considers himself lucky to have world-class acoustic musicians in Rockbridge County. “James Leva, W&L Class of ’80, who served as producer on this album, has produced many of his own fabulous albums. Julia Goudimova (instructor of applied cello at W&L) is a remarkably talented cellist, and I had the good fortune that she agreed to compose cello accompaniments for three of the songs. Her work is hauntingly beautiful.”

“The other musicians on the album — Leo Lorenzoni and Lee Sauder — are also local artists who are nationally recognized. Leo is not only an accomplished musician, but also a luthier and has a musical-instrument restoration and repair shop just half a block from the Lenfest Center. Lee Sauder has his own band, Honest Labor, and has played harmonica with many other bands in the area for over 30 years. I would also proudly mention that my daughter, Lea, created the beautiful artwork and design for the CD packaging.”

Martinez said he’s always been a solo artist, and so learning to coordinate his style of music with other musicians was a challenge. “I’ve learned so much from the fine musicians and dear friends who have helped me with this long-delayed project. Fortunately, with the advent of digital music recording on a home computer, learning to record one’s self has become easier and less expensive. I have a music studio in my log cabin, where I work creating and recording new songs on an amateur level — nothing like the quality of recordings created by this album’s sound engineer and percussionist, Graham Spice.”

The album took two years to complete; he hopes his next one won’t take as long. As much as he’d like to have a CD release party, it’s not easy scheduling musicians for rehearsals and performance. “But if we do, it will be great fun and the high point of an old dream come true.”

In the meantime, you can listen to clips of his album, as well as purchase it, at .

Death Penalty and Clemency Focus of W&L Law Review Symposium

The annual Lara D. Gass Symposium at the Washington and Lee University School of Law will focus this year on the controversial case of Joseph M. Giarratano, using his story to explore the ethical, legal and public policy issues surrounding the use of the death penalty.

The event is scheduled for Feb. 5-6 in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall on the campus of Washington and Lee University. Except for the evening keynote dinner, which is by invitation only, the symposium proceedings are free and open to the public.

Giarratano was convicted of murder in 1979, but after his story drew national and international attention raising questions about his guilt, his death sentence was commuted to life by then-Gov. L. Douglas Wilder in 1991. However, then-Virginia Attorney General Mary Sue Terry denied a new trial for Giarratano. You can read more about Giarratano in a recent Richmond Times-Dispatch story covering his case and the symposium.

According to event organizers, Giarratano’s case raises several issues about death penalty decisions, including ineffective assistance of counsel, clemency, post-conviction relief, actual innocence, prison conditions, race and gender and the use of the death penalty on those with mental illness or intellectual disability.

Panels on Feb. 5 will cover rights and remedies available when a death row inmate’s lawyer did not perform up to constitutionally acceptable standards; capital punishment and actual innocence; and life on death row.

Panels on Feb. 6 will cover executive powers over sentencing; death penalty advocacy; race and gender’s impact in capital sentencing; and the use of capital punishment on people with mental illness or intellectual disability.

Speakers include Gerald T. Zerkin, one of Giarratano’s lawyers; Deidre Enright with the Innocence Project Clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law; David Bruck, prominent capital defense attorney and professor at W&L Law; Richard Bonnie, professor of medicine and law at the University of Virginia School of law; and Jonathan Shapiro, prominent capital defense attorney and visiting professor at W&L Law.

The invitation-only keynote address and dinner will feature introductory remarks by Mike Farrell, an actor, longtime Giarratano supporter and death penalty activist. The keynote address will be delivered by Robin Konrad, Assistant Federal Public Defender from the Capital Habeas Unit. Konrad represents prisoners who are seeking habeas corpus relief from their state and federal convictions and death sentences. Most recently, she represented the petitioners in their lethal-injection challenge in Glossip v. Gross, 125 S. Ct. 2726 (2015), before the United States Supreme Court.

A full schedule and registration information is available online. For questions about the event, contact Christina Tacoronti ‘16L at tacoronti.c@law.wlu.edu.

The Lara D. Gass Symposium is named in honor of Lara Gass, a member of the Law Class of 2014 who passed away in an automobile accident in March of 2014.Gass served as Symposium Editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review, organizing the Law Review’s 2014 symposium focused on the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Lara was active within the Women Law Students Organization and also served as a Kirgis Fellow, the law school’s peer mentoring group, during the 2012–2103 academic year. In January 2014, Lara received recognition for her academic achievements, her leadership abilities, her service to the law school and university community, and her character when she was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.

Organized and hosted by the W&L Law Review, this event is sponsored by the Dean’s Office, Washington and Lee University School of Law; the Frances Lewis Law Center, Washington and Lee University School of Law; the Class of 1963, Washington and Lee University and the Mudd Center for Ethics, Washington and Lee University.

W&L's Colón Offers Tips for Media Covering Donald Trump in The Conversation

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Dear Media: Here are some tips for covering Donald Trump and the GOP campaign

by Aly Colón

The GOP candidates debate again tomorrow night.

Donald Trump reportedly won’t join them. His campaign has confirmed to various news outlets that he intends to skip the debate after losing a showdown with Fox News over Megyn Kelly’s role as moderator.

That doesn’t mean he won’t be drawing media attention with what he says and how he says it. This time, let’s hope the media gets its coverage of Trump right.

By “get it right,” I mean more illumination of the candidate and his policies and less simple reflection of the heat he generates.

Journalists may find themselves challenged to find the light because of Trump’s politically aggressive approach and inflammatory language. He famously claimed Mexico sends rapists and criminals to the U.S. He suggested Muslims should not be allowed in the country, and that thousands of them cheered the attack on the World Trade Towers on 9/11. A Muslim woman was recently ejected from a Trump rally in South Carolina.

Into the fray

Trump targets journalists, too. His numerous disagreements with Kelly started at the first GOP debate back in August. He had Jorge Ramos of Univision thrown out of a press conference, although he later let him back in. In an TV interview, he called New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid a “low life.” And he appeared to physically mock Serge Kovaleski of The New York Times, who has a congenital joint disease.

Despite these attacks, it is critical in political campaigns that the public get information it can trust. How ethically journalists cover the news matters. As the Knight Chair of Media Ethics at Washington and Lee University who has taught ethics to professional journalists for a decade at the Poynter Institute, I see journalistic credibility as essential for a functioning democracy.

How can a journalist report the facts but also tell the truth?

What approach will enable the news media to convince its readers, listeners and viewers what matters is news — not views?

A question of trust

A good place to start is by critically examining the journalistic work being produced.

Trump’s caustic, often unproven, provocative statements and actions are prompting a number of those in the news media to reevaluate how to describe and label what he says.

Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith acknowledges that it is a challenge to be fair and not undermine his staff’s work, when it comes to covering Trump. Erik Wemple, the media critic at the Washington Post, writes that “neutral journalism” needs to be rethought when it comes to this candidate.

Smith’s and Wemple’s views challenge the “objective,” or even impartial, approach usually expected and followed by traditional journalists. For them, the journalistic tendency of just providing the facts may not be enough.

Beyond stenography

Defining a substantive news agenda is also important.

Plenty of news outlets will report on the horse race throughout the campaign to come.

What’s needed are more stories that provide a more thorough understanding of what would happen if Trump’s comments and policies became a reality.

The Washington Post did this harder kind of story when it looked at how Trumps taps into the antipathy some white Americans have for immigrants. The National Catholic Register, to choose another example, did a good job by examining what Trump’s ban on Muslims might have on the religious freedom of other religious groups.

Look to history

History provides some lessons on dealing with an accusatory candidate.

Salon writer Daniel Denvir penned an article headlined: “Donald Trump is the second coming of George Wallace.” Wallace, like Trump, focused on those who feared for their safety, wrote Denvir.

In the 1950s, Senator Joseph McCarthy became famous, then infamous, for supposedly uncovering Communists in the U.S. government. In general, too many journalists failed to report on McCarthy with depth or scope. The press stuck to “narrow definitions of ‘objectivity’ (that) provided little of no background or analysis, according to Edwin R. Bayley, who wrote a book about McCarthy and the press.

Trump’s attacks matter, but they matter less than the news media’s need to decide what coverage is required, the accuracy of Trump’s messages and their impact.

By relying on journalistic codes and guiding principles, journalists can position themselves to keep their focus off of themselves and centered on the implications and impact of Trump’s pronouncements. The key is to examine the why – and not just the what – of what Trump trumpets.

W&L's Jonathan Eastwood to Give Laurent Boetsch Term Professorship Lecture

Jonathan Eastwood, professor of sociology and anthropology at Washington and Lee University, will give his inaugural lecture marking his appointment as the Laurent Boetsch Term Associate Professor in Sociology on Feb. 3, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of his lecture, which is free and open to the public, is “Challenges and Opportunities in the Study of National Identity.”

“Nationalism and national identity are notoriously difficult subjects to study empirically,” said Eastwood. “In this non-technical talk, I will describe two strategies I’ve been employing in recent work in progress. The first is an expert survey project on the history of national identity across Europe and the post-Soviet polities and a collaboration with Valentina Dimitrova-Grajzl, Peter Grajzl and Nicolas Prevelakis. The second is a simulations project I have begun with a student.”

Eastwood joined the faculty of Washington and Lee in 2006. He earned his B.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University. He was a lecturer at Harvard University before coming to Washington and Lee.

His areas of research include sociological theory and comparative social science and is especially interested in relationships between collective identities, collective action and conflict.

Selected recent publications of Eastwood’s are “Comparative Politics: Classic and Contemporary Readings” (ed., 2016); “Can (and Should) We Construct An Evolutionary Psychological Theory of Institutions?” in Sociological Forum (2015); “Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases” (ed., 2012, 2nd edition currently in progress); and “Reflections on the Implications of Evolutionary Psychology for the Theory of Institutions” in Journal of Institutional Economics (2012).

His book, “The Revolution in Venezuela: Social and Political Change Under Chávez” (2011), was named Choice Outstanding Title in 2012.

Eastwood is also ad hoc manuscript reviewer for American Journal of Sociology; American Sociological Review; Social Psychology Quarterly; Nations and Nationalism; Theory and Society; Philosophy of Social Science; Theory, Culture and Society; Politics and Policy, as well as university and academic presses.

Peter J. Furey '73: The Farmer's Advocate

Peter J. Furey, a 1973 economics graduate of Washington and Lee University, joined the New Jersey Farm Bureau (NJFB) in 1982 and as executive director has worked closely with farmers and state officials on bills affecting farmers and agriculture in the Garden State. Those include the Agriculture Retention Act, which led to the Farmland Preservation Program; the Right to Farm Act; and appropriations acts, which funded the Agricultural Economic Recovery and Development Initiative’s grant programs.

Peter is the subject of a profile in NJSpotlight, where he discusses NJFB’s role in advocating for farmers and the future of agriculture in New Jersey. He says one of the greatest challenges facing New Jersey farmers is “the cost and availability of seasonal labor. Producing and shipping large volumes of farm-grown commodities requires substantial labor inputs (as much as 45 percent of a farm’s expenses).”

On a more upbeat note: “There’s a positive scenario that shows a further appreciation for locally-grown food, solid support for farming as a provider of precious open space in a metropolitan region, product innovations with crops and livestock to allow bio-based industries as an alternative to fossil fuel-based industries.”


Life Outside the ‘Lexington Bubble’

“If you want to get involved in this type of work, you have to care for who needs your help at that moment.”

sequiera-sofia-t Life Outside the 'Lexington Bubble'Sofia Sequiera

Sofía Sequeira ’15
Intake Paralegal
Legal Services NYC, New York, N.Y.

Sofía Sequeira ’15 hears about 20 different stories of daily struggles from New York City residents everyday.

“The stories are sometimes really heartbreaking.”

But Sequeira wants to help change the lives of her clients, so she keeps listening.

“Even if I don’t feel like it or I am having a difficult day, I have to speak to 20 people whose lives are a complete mess and be willing and able to help and care about their issues,” Sequeira said. “It’s challenging but also very rewarding.”

Sequeira works as an intake paralegal for Legal Services NYC, which is a non-profit organization that offers free legal services to low-income NYC residents.

She screens the prospective clients in either English or Spanish to determine service eligibility. If they are eligible, she is able to give them advice and schedule them for future appointments to receive further assistance.

A psychology major and philosophy minor from Costa Rica, Sequeira came to Washington and Lee with an interest in community service and sought exposure to the legal field.

She started working at the W&L Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic assisting with Spanish speaking clients.

“If you want to get involved in this type of work, you have to care for who needs your help at that moment.”

Sequeira also tutored Hispanic community children through English for Speakers of Other Languages and was a part of the Student Association for International Learning.

She advised students to join clubs and activities at W&L that reflect their interests and passions, but her favorite memories, she says, are of spending countless hours in the Dining Hall ignoring her homework with friends.

Additionally, Sequeira says students should be aware of the “Lexington bubble” they might succumb to at W&L.

“I think when you’re at W&L you tend to forget that there’s a bigger world out there.”

She says students do not necessarily need to leave their comfort zone, but they should be conscious of the people and the community around them.

“There are people in Lexington who will benefit from knowing you.”

It is important for students to get involved in the community and get to know students at W&L with different backgrounds, according to Sequeira.

“Go out of your way to meet people who aren’t similar to you or have different interests. You will be surprised at how much you can learn from them.”

Sequeira says W&L courses made her more aware of the inequalities in society. She noted courses such as Effects of Poverty on Family and Children (PSYC 235), Social Inequality and Fair Opportunity (PHIL 242) and Stereotype, Prejudice and Discrimination (PSYC 269).

She also advises students to consider a gap year before pursuing graduate level education.

“When I was a senior, I wanted to go to law school right away, and most people would say ‘you should take a year off,'” Sequeira said, “But I didn’t want to go into the unknown.”

She says not going to law school right away has given her a broader perspective.

Sequeira’s student visa only allows her to work after graduation for one year. She hopes to start law school fall 2016 and is strongly considering W&L School of Law.

– by Cecelia Smith-Schoenwalder ’16

A Day in the Life of an Intake Paralegal

6:30 a.m. Wake up! The alarm goes off. I turn on the coffee maker and jump into the shower.

7:45 a.m. Bus ride. I walk over to the bus stop which is right in front of my house in Bayonne, NJ.

8:20 – 8:40 a.m. Arrive in the office. The bus drops me off two blocks away from my office in Lower Manhattan.

9:15 a.m. Meeting with the team. Morning meeting with our supervisors to go over any changes in our scripts.

10:00 a.m. Start the hotline. I begin receiving calls from NYC residents seeking legal assistance.

12:00 p.m. Lunch time. I eat my homemade lunch while I watch a TV episode or take a walk.

4:00 p.m. Start the follow-up. I prepare appointment confirmation letters and update the calendars.

5:00 p.m. Leave the office. I drop off the mail on my way out and walk over to the bus stop.

5:25 p.m. Bus ride. I call my mother on FaceTime or read a book on way home.

6:30 p.m. Dinner time. My fiancé and I prepare dinner and lunch for the next day together.

7:00 p.m. Relaxing time. I watch TV, read a book, do laundry, skype with my family or go to the gym.

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International Perspectives: Alfred Rwagaju

“I prefer small classes where I’m closely guided by a professor, which is what W&L is good at. The school has got a good number of opportunities for students, and also its financial aid is great.”

rwagaju-alfred-l International Perspectives: Alfred RwagajuAlfred Rwagaju

Alfred Rwagaju ’18
Physics-Engineering Major
Computer Science and Mathematics Minor
Kigali, Rwanda

What are you involved in here on campus?

I am currently president of the African Society club and a member of SAIL, and I was a summer research scholar last summer with the physics-engineering department.

Talk a bit about your prior study abroad experience.

I’m already studying abroad here in the US, where I have been exposed to a new culture. It is always interesting to experience and learn how other people interact with the environment.

Next year, I will be studying in The University of Melbourne, Australia, where I will be taking more classes related to my major. This will be a big adjustment for me since I will be experiencing new culture, but I’m always ready to take on new adventures and challenge myself.

What brought you to Washington and Lee?

I prefer small classes where I’m closely guided by a professor, which is what W&L is good at. The school has got a good number of opportunities for students, and also its financial aid is great.

What has been most surprising about W&L and Lexington so far?

Taking an exam or a test without being closely supervised by a professor!

Favorite Class?

I do like all my classes, although they are challenging. I have taken Global History with Professor Tallie, which was really fascinating and interesting to learn. Not only do you learn histories of different parts of the globe, but you also learn about the interconnections between these histories and how they diversify most societies.

Long Live the King

He’s head litigator at his law firm, and was named one of the “Nation’s Top One Percent” by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers” by the American Trial Lawyers Association. At 35, he was unanimously appointed by the Louisiana Supreme Court to temporarily fill a vacancy on the Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

To top it all off, the Hon. James Williams, a 1998 graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, is the first member of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club to serve as king of the Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras.

This is Zulu’s 100th year of incorporation, and event is run by the Mystic Krewe of Louisianians, with U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond (who represents Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional district) serving as its chairman.

As reported in The Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), James, who practices with Chehardy, Sherman, Williams, Murray, Recile, Stakelum & Hayes LLP, said, “Certainly, we have a long way to go in this country as far as civil and equal rights, but what an amazing story, to know that 100 years ago Zulu was formed because Mardi Gras was segregated, and now 100 years later a Zulu member reigns as the king of the Washington, D.C., Mardi Gras club.”

He added, “We in New Orleans take Mardi Gras very seriously, and that includes the royalty. It’s an opportunity for me and my family to play a part in bringing that which is good about New Orleans and Mardi Gras to the nation’s capital and put it on display.”

James is noted for his philanthropic work — he’s funded a scholarship for a student at the Good Shepherd School, which educates underserved children in New Orleans, and sponsors a Teach for America volunteer. Professionally, his legal work helped pave the way for Louisiana Supreme Court Justice Bernette Johnson to become the first African-American chief justice, and he represented Dorian Johnson, a witness in the 2014 shooting death of Michael Brown.

Center for International Education Presents Film Series as Part of Seminar on Human Rights in Africa

The Center for International Education at Washington and Lee University, with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, presents the first in a series of African films as part of the 2015-16 Seminar on Human Rights in Africa.

“Timbuktu,” 2014 French-Mauritanian drama film directed by Abderrahmane Sissaki, will be shown on Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. in the Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons. The film is rated PG 13 and is 97 minutes long. A 30-minute discussion of the film will follow.

An Oscar nominee for best foreign language film and winner of seven awards at the 40th César Awards (France’s equivalent of the Oscars), “Timbuktu” is based on the 2012 takeover of the ancient cosmopolitan city of Timbuktu in northern Mali by violent jihadists.

According to The New York Times, “Timbuktu” “is an unflinching, quietly furious exploration of life under radical Islamist rule. It also makes a point about power that even nonextremist, democratically elected leaders would do well to keep in mind….“Timbuktu” is a political film in the way that ‘The Bicycle Thief’ or ‘Modern Times’ is a political film: It feels at once timely and permanent, immediate and essential.”

Upcoming films in the series, include “Cry, the Beloved Country,” directed by Darryl Roodt (1995); “Call Me Kuchu,” directed by Malika Zouhali-Worrall and Katherine Fairfax Wright (2012); “Yesterday,” directed by Darrell Roodt (2004); and “Moolade,” directed by Sembene Ousmane (2004).

Mellon Seminar on Human Rights in Africa Continues with a Lecture by Professor Frank Ukadike

N. Frank Ukadike, associate professor of communications and African and African Diaspora Studies at Tulane University, will deliver a public lecture at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 29 at 4:45 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

The title of the talk, which is free and open to the public, is “Recent Trends in African Cinema.” Refreshments will be served.

In his lecture, Ukadike, one of the foremost experts on African cinema, will explore trends in African cinematic practices from its inception in the 1960s to the evolution of Nollywood. “My lecture will focus on the emergence of resounding human rights narratives that are deeply indexed in wider historical circumstances, conceptual frameworks and representational paradigms,” said Ukadike, “as well as ideological vestiges that problematize gender roles in times of crises, with special tangents on rape, violence, bereavement, memory, trauma, healing and the search for transcendence.”

He is widely published in scholarly journals and anthologies, including “Critical Approaches to African Cinema Discourse,” (ed., 2014) and “African Cinema: Narratives, Perspectives and Poetics” (2014).

His research interests include Black Diaspora Cinemas, Third World Cinema, Film History and Criticism and Cultural Studies. He is also Professor-at-Large and Distinguished Professor of Film Studies in the School of Visual and Performing Arts, College of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, Kwara State University in Nigeria.

Ukadike’s lecture is one of several in a year-long seminar titled Human Rights in Africa: A Transdisciplinary Approach. The seminar has been made possible by the Center for International Educational with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The seminar includes other public lectures, book colloquia, a film series and a workshop for high school students during this winter term.

Caroline Osella to Lecture in Global Fellows Seminar

Caroline Osella, a reader in anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, will lecture at Washington and Lee University as part of the Winter 2016 Global Fellows Seminar: Tradition and Change in the Middle East and South Asia. Her talk will be Jan. 27, 2016, at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.

The seminar is supported by the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.

Osella will speak on “A Space of Possibilities: How Gulf Migration Impacts South Indian Muslim Family Life and Gendered Relationships.” The talk is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast live online.

“Migration is often seen as a social problem in itself, or as bringing problems, whether by family separation, rising expectations and pressures around living standards and consumer cultures, erosion of secure cultural identities and so on,” said Oscella.

“I will show that members of migrant families often put very high social and emotional value on the many spaces which migration opens up for them and carefully cultivate the changes it can open out towards, even as they also stay mindful of obligations and normative expectations and watchful for potential critique in the wider community. In many ways, migration is working to keep families together, even as it re-shapes households, relationships and lives.”

Since 1989, Osella has conducted her ethnographic fieldwork in Kerala, South India, and with Kerala migrants in various parts of the United Arab Emirates. Her recent work has explored Kerala as an Indian Ocean model questioning the nation bias, and in the ways in which Kerala and the Persian Gulf states are entangled.

At SOAS, Osella teaches regional anthropology; sex, gender and sexuality; ethnology of South Asian Islam; and migration and dispersion. Her broadest research interest is that of how projects of identity crafting are brought back to the body, while socially constructed bodies are differentiated to reflect class, ethnic and gender differences, and to forge social hierarchies.

Osella is the co-author of four books including “Islamic Reform in South Asia” (Cambridge University Press, 2013); “Men and Masculinities in South India” (Anthem Press, 2006); “South Asian Masculinities: Context of Change, Sites of Continuity” (Kali for Women, 2004). She is the co-author of 13 book chapters and author and co-author of over 20 articles.

The lecture is co-sponsored by the W&L’s Department of Religion, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, the Shepherd Program in Poverty and Human Capability Studies, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Middle East and South Asia Teacher Scholar Cohort.

4th Annual Souper Bowl Will Benefit W&L Campus Kitchen’s Backpack Program

Community members and local college students can band together against childhood hunger in the Rockbridge area one soup bowl at a time by attending the 4th Annual Souper Bowl in Evans Dining Hall on Jan. 31 from 11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Participating restaurants, caterers and bakeries will serve soup creations, many using local ingredients, and desserts while Washington and Lee’s acapella groups JubiLee, General Admission and Southern Comfort entertain.

The 21 participants include Blue Sky, Bistro on Main, Buffalo Creek Beef, Chefs Catering, Cool Springs Organics, E. Café, Full Circle Catering, Haywood’s Restaurant, Healthy Foods Market and Café, Kind Roots Cafe, Lexington Golf and Country Club, Mountain Mama Catering, The Palms, Pronto Caffe and Gelateria, Pure Eats, Red Hen, Sheridan Livery, Southern Inn Restaurant, Sweet Treats Bakery and W&L Dining Services.

All proceeds will support W&L’s Campus Kitchen’s Backpack Program, a hunger-fighting project that began in 2009 as a partnership between CKWL and local schools. The program has served all area elementary schools and Head Start programs providing nearly 700 children with a bag of non-perishable food items to take home with them for the weekend.

W&L’s Campus Kitchen coordinator Jenny Davidson said, “We are thrilled to offer the 4th Annual Souper Bowl to the Rockbridge community, and to work together to address childhood hunger.”

The goal for the 2016 Souper Bowl is to raise $8,000, enough to fund roughly three months of the program. Davidson & Garrard, a financial advisory firm with offices in Lynchburg, Tyson’s Corner and Lexington, sponsors the event so that all ticket fees and additional donations can go directly to the cause. Tickets are available at the door with students/kids for $10 and adults for $15.


Rich Murray ’71 Inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame

Rich Murray, a 1971 graduate of Washington and Lee University, will be inducted into the 2016 class of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.

Murray, who studied journalism at Washington and Lee, was the sports information director at James Madison University from 1975 to 1983, after which he took on the same position at the University of Virginia, until 2012. A founding member and the first president of the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association, he was known for the grace with which he conducted his job. According to former UVA basketball coach Jeff Jones, “He’s the epitome of old-school values. Honesty, integrity, hard work.”

In recognition of his service to Virginia sports, the Virginia Sports Information Directors Association created the Rich Murray Scholarship for Sports Journalism, awarded each year to a high school student who displays great talent for sports journalism.

—Wesley Sigmon ’16

Leyburn Library’s Author Talk Series Features Stephen Lind

Stephen J. Lind, assistant professor of business administration and communication, will talk about his new book “A Charlie Brown Religion: Exploring the Spiritual Life and Work of Charles M. Schulz” (2015) on Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. in the Book Nook in Washington and Lee University’s Leyburn Library.

The event is part of the University Library’s Author Talk Series and is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

“A Charlie Brown Religion” is an insightful study of all of the Peanuts comic strips, 75 animated titles and the merchandising empire as Schulz goes through what it means to believe, what it means to doubt and what it means to share faith with the world.

Lind has been part of the W&L faculty since 2013. He received his B.S. from Liberty University, his M.A. in speech communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. in rhetorics, communications and information design from Clemson University.

This is Lind’s first book. He also is the author of an op-ed in the Dec. 20, 2015 issue of the Wall Street Journal, “You’re a Merry Man, Charlie Brown.”

He has written seven articles and chapters including “Studying Religion/Spirituality in a Mediated Religio-Secular Age of Publicity: The Need for Transdisciplinarity” in the Journal of Communication and Religion (2014); “Christmas in the 1960s: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Religion and the Conventions of the Television Genre” in the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture (2014); and “Un-defining Man: The Case for Symbolic Animal Communication” in E. Plec (Ed.), “Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication” (2012).

Lind has made media appearances including the BBC Radio 4, Family Life Radio and WSET, a CBS affiliate. He is a reviewer of three journals including the Journal of Religion and Popular Culture (2014–current) and the Religious Communication Association (2013-current.)

Civil Rights Journal Symposium to Explore Policing in America

This month the Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice at Washington and Lee University School of Law will host a symposium focused on one of the most important criminal justice conflicts to arise in recent years.

The symposium, titled “Policing in America: Powers and Accountability,” will take place on Jan. 28-29 in Sydney Lewis Hall on the grounds of Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

The event begins on Jan. 28 with an invitation only dinner and keynote address by Mark Kappelhoff, clinical professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School. Prof. Kappelhoff recently returned to Minnesota after serving as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.

The symposium proceedings that are open to the public will be held Jan. 29 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. in the Millhiser Moot Court Room, Sydney Lewis Hall. There is no charge to attend.

Friday’s keynote address will be delivered by Mario L. Barnes of the University of California, Irvine School of Law. Prof. Barnes is the Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development and Professor of Law, with a joint appointment (by courtesy) in Criminology, Law & Society. He is also a Faculty Affiliate in the UCI Center in Law, Society & Culture, the Co-Director of the UCI Center on Law, Equality and Race (CLEaR), and previously served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the law school from 2011 to 2014.

The scheduled panels for Friday will explore the trajectory of mass incarceration policy, preventing the discriminatory use of force, and trends in police militarization. Panelists will include:

  • Kara Dansky, Founder and Managing Director, One Thousand Arms
  • andré douglas pond cummings, Professor of Law, Indiana Tech Law School
  • Donald F. Tibbs, Associate Professor of Law, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Justin Hansford, Assistant Professor, Saint Louis University School of Law
  • Tamara F. Lawson, Professor of Law, St. Thomas University School of Law
  • Jack Chin, Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law
  • Kevin H. Govern, Associate Professor, Ave Maria School of Law
  • Richard V. Meyer, Professor of Law, Mississippi College School of Law
  • Tim MacDonnell, Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law

A complete schedule for the symposium is available online. For questions about the event, contact Emelia Hall-Tuisawau ‘16L at halltuisawau.e@law.wlu.edu.

The mission of the Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice is to explore the intersection of majority and minority culture through discrete legal issues. To that end, the Journal seeks to provide a space for scholars of all persuasions to expand and develop a theoretical, critical, and socially relevant dialogue with the legal community.

W&L Law Students Release Human Rights Report on Early Marriage and Pregnancy in Tanzania

Students in the International Human Rights Practicum at Washington and Lee School of Law traveled to Tanzania this fall to research the problem of early marriage and its effects on girls’ access to education. Along the way, they discovered that early pregnancy also was a serious problem in the country.

The results of the study, along with recommendations for improving the situation, have now been released in a 40 page report, available online. 3L Emily Tichenor, who participated in the class, says that there are many economic, social and cultural issues contributing to the problem.

“There are many factors that lead to early marriage, including a patriarchal culture and conflict of laws issues between customary law, statutory law, and Islamic law,” Tichenor said. “I think the biggest factor, however, is poverty because many families are forced to marry their young daughters to receive a bride price and have one less person to take care of at home. Once the young girls are married, they often have children at a young age and the cycle of poverty continues.”

Nearly 30 percent of the population of Tanzania live below the basic needs poverty line, and consequently, women are often viewed as a family asset. They can earn money working outside the home, but they can also be married off in exchange for the customary “bride price.” The opposite of a dowry, bride price is paid by the groom’s family to bride’s family in the form of livestock or money.

This, combined with the costs associated with primary and secondary education, create pressure for girls to forgo education and to marry early. However, just how early depends on which legal or customary regime is applied. Islamic law allows girls to marry as young as nine, while national domestic law sets the minimum age at 15 for girls and allows for earlier marriage in certain circumstances. Provisions in the various international treaties and conventions that Tanzania has signed set the age of consent at 18 years. And because of this confusion in the law, there is limited enforcement of the minimum age by authorities.

Tichenor added, “It almost seems like a chicken and egg issue—does poverty cause these oppressive regimes that lead to the problem or do the oppressive regimes cause poverty? Because there are so many factors contributing to early marriage and early pregnancy, it is difficult to isolate any one factor.”

Another student in the class, Yasin Amba ‘16L, has up-close experience with this problem. He was born in southern Ethiopia, where he says early marriage remains common. His mother was married to his father at 13, and Yasin was born the following year.

“The practice remains integral to most cultures, especially those in the more rural areas where families support themselves through subsistence farming,” Amba explained. “While education may or may not be valued, more pressing is the need to feed their families and maintain ties within their communities by creating alliances with another family through the marriage.”

Before traveling to Tanzania, the students in the class began their semester researching the Tanzanian legal system and the law and policy around early marriage and education. They also conducted a number of practice interviews specifically designed to teach them how to extract the most accurate information from people often reluctant to speak out on sensitive issues.

On the ground in Tanzania, students worked with lawyers in Dar Es Salaam from the Women’s Legal Aid Centre (WLAC), the same group that has assisted W&L students in previous years during trips to research access to legal aid (2014), labor and employment practices (2012) and sex crime enforcement (2009). During a weeklong fact-finding mission, students conducted more than 40 interviews in the Tanga and Lindi regions of mainland Tanzania.

One thing the students learned during their research was that early pregnancy prior to marriage is also a huge problem. Sex education is very limited and the penalties for statutory rape are severe, which leads to underreporting of these incidents to the authorities. And although there are no codified rules that require pregnant girls to leave school, most school administrators believe this is the case and will not allow the girls to return following delivery, whether they marry or not.

The report makes a number of recommendations for the Tanzania government, including the implementation of all relevant international treaties and protocols and amending the country’s Law of Marriage Act to provide a minimum age of eighteen for both girls and boys and for all types of marriages. Of all the recommendations, Amba believes a law that specifically allows pregnant girls to remain in school and to return after giving birth is key to solving the problem.

“I consider this to be the most important because it is one that can be implemented and enforced immediately,” he said.

The International Human Rights Practicum, taught by Prof. Johanna Bond, is one of the practice-based courses that are part of W&L’s innovative third-year curriculum. Such classes are designed to prepare students for their careers by simulating a variety of legal practice environments, but as with many of W&L’s practicum courses, this class goes well beyond “simulation” by engaging students in the investigation of actual cases of human rights abuse.

“This class was an incredible experience, and it is very rewarding to know that our work will be incorporated into a report to the UN and can have a tangible effect in improving the lives of girls and women throughout Tanzania,” said Tichenor.

Save the Press

Philanthropist Gerry Lenfest, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1953 and from its Law School in 1955, has made headlines for saving the struggling Philadelphia Inquirer and its sister publications, the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com.

As reported in The Washington Post, “Lenfest donated the entire Philadelphia Media Network (PMN), which runs all three of the outlets, to the nonprofit Institute for Journalism in New Media, part of the Philadelphia Foundation. The institute will be headed by a board composed mostly of journalism school deans and academic and foundation executives and will focus on supporting PMN.”

In 2014, when Gerry, a trustee emeritus of W&L, and businessman Lewis Katz bought the publications, he noted it was not to make money but to preserve an independent editorial voice for the region.

“Of all the things I’ve done,” Gerry said, “this is the most important. Because of the journalism.”

David G. Elmes Pathfinder Prize in Psychology Awarded to Emma Swabb ’16

Emma Swabb, a Washington and Lee University senior from Erie, Pennsylvania, has been awarded the 2015 David G. Elmes Pathfinder Prize in Psychology.

The Elmes Pathfinder Prize recognizes a student who has shown extraordinary promise in psychological science or in the application of psychological science in the professions through outstanding scholarship in basic or applied psychology.

Swabb, a psychology major and poverty and human capability studies minor, has conducted research with Professor Julie Woodzicka in the field of social psychology regarding humor and prejudice through the manipulation of racist and sexist jokes. She has also served as a teaching assistant to Professors Wythe Whiting and Dan Johnson for a psychology statistics course.

Combining her interests in poverty studies, race and criminal justice, Swabb’s senior thesis investigates how socioeconomic status, skin tone and racial labeling impact mock jurors’ judgments of criminal suspects. During the winter term of 2016 she will complete an internship at Western State Hospital, an inpatient psychiatric hospital in Staunton, Virginia. Swabb will work with a clinical and forensic psychologist to explore her interest in psychopathology and its interaction with the criminal justice system.

Swabb serves as a captain of the Washington and Lee swim team and as a Leading Edge Trip Leader for Appalachian Adventure for incoming first-year students. She belongs to Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society, Psi Chi Psychology National Honor Society and Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society.

She has completed two summer internships through the Shepherd Internship Program, working as a social work intern in Atlanta at the Georgia Justice Project and as a teaching assistant at the Washington Jesuit Academy in Washington. She is the impact area leader for Strong Returns, a branch of Nabors Service League committed to connecting student volunteers to service opportunities in the criminal justice and prisoner reentry systems in Rockbridge County. For the past two years, Swabb has served as co-president of SPEAK, a W&L student group that strives to raise awareness of sexual misconduct on campus, support survivors and focus on prevention through active bystander intervention training.

After graduation, Swabb hopes to obtain a fellowship to work at a legal non-profit for a few years before attending law school. She has considered attending graduate school for psychology or obtaining a dual degree in law school.

The Elmes Pathfinder Prize was established in 2007. It derives from the Elmes Fund, a permanently endowed fund that honors David G. Elmes, emeritus professor of psychology at W&L. The many alumni, colleagues and friends who benefited from Elmes’ commitment to learning during his 40-year career as a scientist, teacher and mentor at W&L created the endowment.

Professor Najeeb Shafiq to Lecture at W&L as Part of Global Fellows Seminar

Najeeb Shafiq, an associate professor of education, economics and international affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, will lecture at Washington and Lee University as part of the Winter 2016 Global Fellows Seminar: Tradition and Change in the Middle East and South Asia. His talk will be Jan. 20, 2016, at 5 p.m. in Hillel 101.

Shafiq’s talk is sponsored by the Center for International Education with the support of the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation.

He will speak on “Is Education a Panacea? Evidence from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.” The talk is free and open to the public.

Shafiq, who was a visiting assistant professor of economics at W&L in 2006–07, will focus on what can be done to reduce public support for terrorism, authoritarianism, war and corruption in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. He says that “several politicians, social scientists and Nobel laureates believe that education is a panacea.”

He will examine the link between educational attainment and support for suicide bombing, democracy, war and corruption using empirical methods and data. He will finally show his results and what they suggest.

Shafiq’s primary research area is economics of education. He is also interested in education policy, development economics, comparative education, labor education and behavioral economics.

The latest publications he has authored or co-authored include “Aspects of Moral Change in India” (2015), in “World Development;” “Educational Vouchers and Social Cohesion: A Statistical Analysis of Student Civic Attitudes in Sweden” (2014), in “American Journal of Education;” and “Are Student Protests in Arab States Caused by Economic and Political Grievances? Empirical Evidence from the 2006–07 Arab Barometer” (2014), in “Peabody Journal of Education.”

Shafiq received his B.A. in economics from the University of Western Ontario; an M.Phil. in economics from the University of Buffalo; and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics and education from Columbia University.

Poet Claudia Rankine to Lecture as Part of the Ethics of Citizenship Series at W&L

Claudia Rankine, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English at the University of Southern California, will lecture at Washington and Lee University on Jan. 20, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons.

She will speak on “The Creative Imagination and Race: The Making of ‘Citizen.'” The event is free and open to the public.

Her talk is part of the year-long series on The Ethics of Citizenship and is sponsored by W&L’s Roger Mudd Center for Ethics.

Rankine has been with the University of Southern California since July 2015. She is known for her boundary-pushing poetry that deals with racial aggression in 21st-century daily life.

She received the Poet and Writers’ 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, an award honoring an American poet of exceptional talent who deserves wider recognition. In 2013, she was elected chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, a position held in the past by W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop and Adrienne Rich.

Rankine’s book “The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind” (2015), collects poems and essays from a web project she created, in which she asked writers and artists to document the difficulties they faced when writing about race.

Her book “Citizen: An American Lyric” (2014) received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for poetry, an NAACP Image Award for literature, was included on the New York Times best seller list and was on the New York Times’ Sunday Book Reviews 100 Notable Books of 2015. Rankine also received the PEN Oakland Award for “Citizen” in the fall 2015.

Rankine’s other poetry collections are “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely” (2004),  “Plot” (2001), “The End of the Alphabet” (1998) and “Nothing in Nature is Private” (1994). She is also a playwright — among her works are “The Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue” and “Existing Conditions.”

She is the co-editor of several anthologies, including “The Racial Imaginary: Writers on Race in the Life of the Mind” (2015) and “American Poets in the Twenty-First Century: The New Poetics” (2006). She has produced documentary videos in collaboration with her husband, photographer John Lucas.

The Mudd Center was established in 2010 through a gift to the university from award-winning journalist Roger Mudd, a 1950 graduate of W&L. When he made his gift, Mudd said that “given the state of ethics in our current culture, this seems a fitting time to endow a center for the study of ethics, and my university is the fitting home.”

Her Story: Denisio Truitt ’05

Appearing in the January 2016 issue of O Magazine as one of five inspirational female Instagrammers is Denisio Truitt, a 2005 graduate of Washington and Lee University.

Denisio, who is a photographer, creative thinker, poet and clothing designer, said, “When I got divorced in 2014, I was ready to get out of the Washington, D.C., area, where I’d spent my entire adult life. I visited a friend in New Orleans and fell in love with it — the heat, the architecture, the people. It reminded me of Monrovia, Liberia, where I lived for about a year as a child. When I moved here, I felt like my life had come full circle. And the friend? We fell in love, too. Now we co-own a clothing design company. I’m still on a journey, but my hope is that people will see me sharing all parts of myself — as a black woman, as an entrepreneur — and relate, wherever they are on their journey.”

You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @denisiotruitt, read her poetry online and watch her on YouTube.


Joseph Ellis, Author and American Historian, to Speak at W&L Founders Day-ODK Convocation

American historian and author Joseph Ellis will be the featured speaker at Washington and Lee’s Founders Day/Omicron Delta Kappa Convocation on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

Ellis will speak on “What’s the Fuss About the Founders?” Afterward, he will sign copies of his latest book, on the museum level of Lee Chapel, from 6:15 to 6:45 p.m.

The talk is free and open to the public. The convocation will be broadcast live online.

Ellis’ address will precede the induction of 27 undergraduates, 11 law students and five honorary initiates into Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff and administrators, founded in 1914 at Washington and Lee. The University Singers will perform.

Ellis is the author of nine books, including his newest, “The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789” (2015). He also wrote “Revolutionary Summer: The Birth of American Independence” (2013) and “American Creation: Triumphs and Tragedies in the Founding of the Republic” (2007).

He won the Pulitzer Prize for “Founding Brothers: the Revolutionary Generation” (2002) and the National Book Award for “American Sphinx” (1998), a biography of Thomas Jefferson. His book “His Excellency: George Washington” was a New York Times bestseller.

Ellis’ essays and book reviews appear regularly in national publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune. His commentaries have been featured on CBS, CSPAN and CNN, and he has appeared in several PBS documentaries, including “John and Abigail .”

Ellis has taught in the Leadership Studies Program at Williams College. He previously taught at the Honors College at the University of Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College and the United States Military Academy at West Point.

The five ODK Alpha Chapter honorary initiates: Tom Gage, W&L Class of 1970, retired sportswriter for The Detroit News; the Hon. Robert W. Goodlatte, W&L Law Class of 1977, Virginia’s 6th District representative to the U.S. Congress; Lucas M. Morel, Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Politics at W&L; Kimberley A. Ruscio, first lady of Washington and Lee University; and Robert D. Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and professor of business administration.

There are 290 active circles, or chapters, of ODK at colleges and universities across the country. Headquartered in Lexington, Virginia, ODK awards annual scholarships and leadership-development initiative grants and holds a national day of service each April. Individual circles conduct additional leadership-development activities.

W&L’s 26th Mock Convention Feb. 11-13 May Clarify GOP Presidential Race

A college mock political convention that has correctly predicted the actual nominee in 19 of 25 presidential elections since 1908 convenes Feb. 11-13 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.

Every four years, “Mock Con” nominates the ticket of the party out of power. This year, more than 1,500 W&L undergraduates will take part as delegates in a mock Republican convention. The student organizers have raised nearly half a million dollars to research actual party procedures, book high-level political speakers, create a convention hall and even hold an opening parade through downtown Lexington featuring floats and 56 state and voting territory delegations.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will address the mock convention, as will Kristen Anderson, pollster and author of “The Selfie Vote: Where Millennials Are Leading America (And How Republicans Can Keep Up)”; Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform; Ed Gillespie, former chairman of the Republican National Committee and counselor to the president in the George W. Bush administration; and others.

Andrew McCaffery, general chair, believes Mock Con refutes the notion that young Americans are politically disengaged and uninformed.

“In an election cycle that has been tumultuous and at times trivialized, Mock Convention offers a breath of fresh air in that it showcases electoral analysis and engagement by young people. These students are truly excited to participate in presidential politics and this esteemed university tradition,” McCaffery said.

Mock Con opens Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. with a presidential issues debate and resumes Feb. 12 at 9:30 a.m. with the Delegates’ Parade through downtown Lexington. Four convention sessions featuring speakers, presentations and voting take place Feb. 12-13. The entire event will be livestreamed at www.wlu.edu. The public also can attend in person, and general admission tickets are for sale online at www.mockconvention.com.


Two Washington and Lee University Alumni to Headline Fifth Annual AdLib Conference March 10–11

Washington and Lee University’s AdLib Conference will take place on March 10–11 with two alumni headlining the event. Tom Coates, W&L Class of 1994, creative director at the advertising agency Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, will give the dinner keynote at 7 p.m. on March 10. Amy Bohutinsky, W&L Class of 1997, chief operating officer (COO) at Zillow Group, will give the closing keynote at 4:30 p.m. on March 11.

Check go.wlu.edu/adlib for locations and a full schedule of programming.

Zillow Group has a portfolio of some of the largest real estate and home-related brands on Web and mobile including consumer brands Zillow, Trulia, StreetEasy and HotPads.

Bohutinsky oversees Zillow Group’s people organization (human resources, recruiting, and learning and development), as well as marketing, communications and consumer care. She joined Zillow in 2005, as one of the company’s earliest employees, and built the company’s marketing and communications functions from the ground up. Prior to becoming COO, she served as Zillow Group’s chief marketing officer, leading brand strategy, growth and marketing for the company’s flagship Zillow brand.

Bohutinksy is a recognized leader in her field and has received numerous awards including Inman News’ 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders in 2013, Swanepoel Power 200: Most Powerful People in Residential Real Estate 2014 and 2015, Direct Marketing News’ Marketing Hall of Femme 2014, HousingWire’s 2014 Women of Influence and Puget Sound Business Journal’s 20 Under 40 in 2012. Bohutinksy is also on the boards of directors of Avvo, the Web’s largest legal marketplace, and HotelTonight, a fast-growing mobile-based hotel booking service.

Before joining Zillow, she ran communications for Hotwire, a discount travel site. She led the public relations launch of Hotwire in 2000 and continued through the company’s $675 million acquisition by IAC/InterActiveCorp in 2003.

Bohutinsky started her career as a broadcast journalist, working for various CBS, NBC and ABC affiliates. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications from Washington and Lee.

The clients of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, in Sausalito, California, include Mini Cooper, Greyhound, Sunrun Solar, Draft Kings and Nature Made Vitamins.

Coates joined Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners more than a decade ago to run the Converse account, working on the company’s iconic “Chuck Taylor” and relaunching the brand in basketball with NBA star Dwyane Wade. Coates has also created global integrated campaigns for Columbia Sportswear and reintroduced legendarily rugged Sorel boots as a women’s fashion brand.

He began his career during the first dot-com boom as a copywriter in San Francisco, where he made ads for Internet start-ups as well as established brands like Adidas, Sega and CNET. Coates worked at various agencies as both a writer and creative director and spent a year launching major titles such as Madden and NBA Live for Electronic Arts.

He is a member of the second graduating class of the VCU BrandCenter.

We Saw A Zoo

Charles Mason, a 1984 graduate of Washington and Lee University, is known as “the Alaska guy who doesn’t take pictures of Alaska.” A photojournalism professor at University of Alaska Fairbanks, he prefers to travel and is particularly known for his wildlife photography. In 1998 he won the Oskar Barnack Award from World Press Photo for his work in that area.

His latest solo exhibition at Alaska Pacific University, “Zoo Show,” features living animals, but not wildlife. As described in the Alaska Dispatch News, the exhibition includes images taken at zoos around America, but many of the subjects are not the animals, but those looking at the animals.

“Zoo” began at the Alaska Zoo, when Charles took a picture of a two-hump camel. “Just the humps. That’s the way I shoot.” During his travels, when he often visited zoos, he began thinking about the series more seriously, collecting photos from more than a dozen trips.

“If you love zoos, you will see things that make you love zoos more,” said Richard Murphy, former photo editor for the Anchorage Daily News, now a colleague of Mason’s at UAF. “If you hate zoos, you’ll see things that make you hate them more.”

Charles’ work has appeared in LIFE, Time, Newsweek, Outside, Aperture, The New York Times and GEO. He also has published two children’s books, including the award-winning “A Child’s Alaska.” Other books include collaborations with writer Jennifer Brice (“The Last Settlers,” a black-and-white documentary project on the last federal homesteaders); writer Patti Clayton (“Connection on the Ice,” about the 1988 Barrow, Alaska, whale rescue); and writer Sherry Simpson (“The Way Winter Comes,” cover and illustrations).


W&L Graduate Named to Inaugural Class of Schwarzman Scholars

Blaise Buma, a Dec. 2015 mathematics graduate of Washington and Lee University, has been selected for the inaugural class of 111 Schwarzman Scholars, a one-year master’s program at China’s Tsinghua University inspired by the Rhodes Scholarships program at the University of Oxford.

Buma, who also attended a year abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science, will study public policy, economics, business and international studies. He will be immersed in an international community of thinkers, innovators and senior leaders in business, politics and society at Tsinghua, a leading Chinese university and the base of the country’s scientific and technological research.

He was chosen from more than 3,000 applicants worldwide for his intellectual and academic ability, leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate emerging trends and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives and positions. The goal of the program is to promote international understanding and peace and meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

“This class of Schwarzman Scholars represents a remarkable group of individuals who are committed to broadening their world view, undertaking new challenges and risks, and developing an understanding of China necessary to lead in the future,” said Schwarzman Scholars Global Director of Admissions Rob Garris. “These 111 Scholars represent the first members of a constantly expanding network of future global leaders, who together will have a tremendous impact on the world.”

The scholarship is fully funded for all participants, including travel costs and a personal stipend. It is supported by the program’s $375 million endowment. New support for the program has come from a prestigious global list of donors, including PepsiCo Foundation, Volkswagen, Johnson & Johnson, Econet Foundation, Lenovo and the Varkey Foundation. Scholars will live and study together at Schwarzman College, a dedicated, state-of-the-art academic and residential building built exclusively for the program.

Buma is fluent in English and French, as well as Mungaka and Mubako, two of hundreds of languages spoken in his native Cameroon. His interests in politics, economics and international affairs — particularly the Israeli-Palestinian relations, China’s economic forays in Africa and Russian geopolitical interests — inspired his involvement in two world peace organizations as well as two internships with leading world financial companies.

As an undergraduate at W&L, Buma raised $6,000 to attend the summit of One Young World, a UK-based not-for-profit that encourages young people from around the world to gather and debate, formulate and share innovative solutions for pressing international issues. He remains active in the organization, serving as its global ambassador for North America, and was chosen to address other delegates and world leaders including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

In 2013, Buma co-founded Open Dreams, a New York-based non-profit that helps underprivileged students in Cameroon apply for college scholarships at American universities. The program sends two American graduate students to Cameroon for six months to teach SAT preparation and assist students with college applications.

Buma spent summer 2012 with Deutsche Bank AG in London, working as an analyst on the equity structuring and cash sales desk and presenting investment theses for companies that included AIG and Avon. He also analyzed the Greek debt crisis and suggested possible restructuring scenarios that could return the Greek government to solvency. He worked summer 2015 with Goldman Sachs Group in New York as a sales and trading intern on the Index Volatility Trading Desk and the U.S. Collateralized Loan Obligation Structuring Desk. He stayed on with the company and serves as Goldman Sachs Campus Ambassador, helping the firm source talent at colleges and universities.

The scholarship program is named for Blackstone co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, who contributed $100 million and is leading a campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow it. The program’s leaders hope to support up to 200 scholars.

ODK to Initiate Five Honorary and 38 Student Members during 2016 Founders Day/ODK Convocation

Alpha Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society, will welcome five honorary and 38 student initiates at W&L’s annual Founders Day-ODK Convocation on Jan. 19 at 5 p.m. in Lee Chapel.

The convocation is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast live online.

Joseph Ellis, award-winning author and American historian, will speak on the topic “What’s the Fuss About the Founders.” The author of nine books, his newest is “The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789” (2015).

ODK honorary initiates are: Tom Gage, W&L Class of 1970, retired sportswriter for The Detroit News; the Hon. Robert W. Goodlatte, W&L Law Class of 1977, Virginia’s 6th District representative to the U.S. Congress; Lucas M. Morel, Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Politics; Kimberley A. Ruscio, first lady of Washington and Lee University; and Robert D. Straughan, Crawford Family Dean of W&L’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and professor of business administration.

Gage, a retired sportswriter for The Detroit News, has covered more than 5,000 major-league games in 54 ballparks and written more than 11 million words on baseball. His output included daily notes, gamers, plugs, writethrus — all on deadline — plus social media posts. The freshness and flow of his writing appeals to the hardcore fan’s family as well as the hardcore fan. He has been Michigan’s Sportswriter of the Year twice and won numerous other awards while at The Detroit News and at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the paper where he started. Gage has served as longtime chairman of the Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America and on the screening committee that formulates the annual Hall of Fame ballot. Gage retired from The Detroit News in March 2015 and was awarded the J.G. Taylor Spink Award in 2015, making him the first W&L alum to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Goodlatte represents Virginia’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. His political career began in 1977, when he was named district director for former Rep. Caldwell Butler. He served in the position for two years before entering private law practice in Roanoke. He was a partner in the law firm of Bird, Kinder and Huffman from 1981 until winning office in 1992. In the 113th Congress, Goodlatte was elected chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, the first from Virginia in 125 years. He has been chairman of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition, and the Internet, vice-ranking member of the Judiciary Committee and ranking member of the Task Force on Judicial Impeachment, ranking member of the Antitrust Task Force, and vice chairman of the Subcommittee on the Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property. Goodlatte also served on the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. He serves on the House Agriculture Committee. He is a member of the Subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, which is of particular importance to the 6th District since it is one of the leading turkey- and poultry-producing districts in the nation. He also serves on the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, and Nutrition. He is co-chair of the Congressional Internet and the Congressional International Anti-Piracy caucuses as well as chairman of the House Republican Technology Working Group. Goodlatte is a graduate of Washington and Lee University School of Law, and he earned his undergraduate degree in government at Bates College, Lewiston, Maine.

Morel is the Class of 1960 Professor of Ethics and Politics at W&L where he has taught in the politics department since 1999. He teaches courses in American government, political philosophy, constitutional law, black American politics, and politics and literature. He received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the Claremont Graduate University. Morel is head of the politics department, directs the annual Institute for Honor symposium and serves as a pre-law advisor. He is an Honored Visiting Graduate Professor at Ashland University, was a Garwood Visiting Fellow at the James Madison Program at Princeton University, and holds an honorary degree from Illinois College. Morel’s publications include “Lincoln’s Sacred Effort: Defining Religion’s Role in American Self-Government” (2000), “Ralph Ellison and the Raft of Hope: A Political Companion to ‘Invisible Man’” (2002), “Lincoln and Liberty: Wisdom for the Ages” (2014), and (with Marc C. Conner) “The New Territory: Ralph Ellison and the Twenty-First Century” (forthcoming, 2016). Morel is a trustee of the Supreme Court Historical Society, past president of the Abraham Lincoln Institute, board member of the Abraham Lincoln Association, editorial board member of the Journal of American Political Thought and of Books & Culture: A Christian Review, and has consulted on exhibits at the Library of Congress on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Morel conducts history workshops for high school teachers throughout the country and has co-written lessons on antebellum and Civil War America and the modern civil rights movement for the EDSITEment website of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has written for the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Claremont Review of Books, First Things, Richmond Times-Dispatch and Columbus Dispatch. Morel teaches Sunday School and serves on the men’s ministry team at Grace Presbyterian Church, and has coached soccer and baseball for the Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization.

Ruscio is the first lady of Washington and Lee University. Her primary focus is to promote and engage students, alumni, faculty, staff and the community at large in the life of the university. She describes her position as being an ambassador for Washington and Lee, particularly in support of the students. Ruscio was an active participant in the recently completed $542.5 million capital campaign, Honor Our Past, Build Our Future: The Campaign for Washington and Lee. She is involved in advancing leadership initiatives for women at Washington and Lee and has served as a facilitator and group leader of W&L’s Women’s Leadership Summit; she will give the keynote address at the 2016 summit. Ruscio also has been instrumental in restoring and preserving the historical integrity of Lee House, home of the university president, by promoting through educational events, collaboration with campus and community organizations, the historical role that Lee House and the Lee family played in the history of the university. From 1991 to 2002, Ruscio worked in the Admissions and Financial Aid Office at Washington and Lee, managing the university’s work-study program, coordinating the stewardship-scholarship program and developing the counseling program to assist students and graduates with the student loan process. In 2001, she was named associate director. Previously she worked for four years as a financial analyst for the Chapter Thirteen Bankruptcy Trustee, Eastern District of Virginia, in Richmond. Ruscio graduated from the American College of Switzerland, majoring in fashion design and merchandising. While there, she interned with a leading haute-couture house of design in Paris. Ruscio spent 13 years in the women’s fashion industry, working as a sportswear buyer for Bonwit Teller, New York City; an accessory merchandise coordinator at Sibley’s, Syracuse, New York; and as a district/regional manager for Casual Corner, a national women’s retail chain, specializing in wardrobe concepts and designs for the professional woman. She received several awards and recognitions for her visual displays and store layouts. Ruscio also has worked as a retail consultant for the Virginia Main Street Program. She has been active in numerous community organizations, including on the boards of the Lexington Downtown Development Association, Yellow Brick Road Early Childhood Development Center, and Child-Net After School Enrichment Program, president of the Rockbridge Area League of Women Voters, a literacy tutor, and a United Way volunteer. She is a member of the Kendal at Lexington board of directors and currently serves on the national Kendal Corporation Board, chairing the affiliate services and oversight committee.

Straughan is the Crawford Family Dean of Washington and Lee’s Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and a professor of business administration. He previously served 12 years as associate dean. He earned a B.B.A. in marketing and management from Baylor University and a M.B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Houston. Prior to returning to graduate school, he worked in the refining and marketing division of Shell Oil. Straughan joined the Williams School faculty in 2000 following several years on the faculty at Baylor. At W&L, he teaches or co-teaches a variety of marketing and international business classes, including two in Copenhagen, Denmark, on international corporate social responsibility and sustainable business strategy. Straughan has worked with Professor Elizabeth Oliver for more than 15 years as faculty co-advisors for Washington and Lee Student Consulting, a co-curricular student organization providing pro bono consulting support for businesses and not-for-profits in the U.S. and abroad. He has helped place students in internship or field research opportunities in Belize, Brazil, Denmark, Greenland, Italy, Romania, Spain and the U.K. He has assisted at various times with the Williams School’s Investment and ADMARCOM trips to New York, the government and public policy trip to Washington, the London Summer Internship Program, and the New York Program in International Commerce. Straughan is involved with the Aspen Institute’s Undergraduate Business Education Consortium and is a member of the Danish Institute for Study Abroad’s Business Faculty Advisory Council. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen journal articles and book chapters and has made more than two dozen presentations at professional conferences. His research on cross-cultural marketing and business education has won awards and commendations from the American Marketing Association, Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators and MCB University Press. In Lexington, Straughan has been active as a baseball and basketball coach with the Rockbridge Area Recreation Organization and as a board member and coach with Lexington Lacrosse.

Undergraduate Class of 2016

Laura Margaret Spencer Ackell (Appleton, Wisconsin) is a business administration major and poverty and human capability studies minor. She has served on the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team for four years, coordinated Volunteer Venture pre-orientation trips to Greensboro, and traveled to Vietnam with the Shepherd International Internship Program. She is a project manager for Washington and Lee Student Consulting and the fundraising coordinator for 2016 Mock Convention. She received the Glynn Family Scholarship for her interest in entrepreneurship and community service.

Rachel Adams-Heard (Austin, Texas) is a business journalism major. A recipient of the Journalism Department’s Landon B. Lane Memorial Scholarship, she has interned at “CBS Evening News,” The Charlotte Observer and Bloomberg News. She received the Society for Professional Journalists’ Mark of Excellence Award for the region and was a national runner-up. She is the campus coordinator for Rockbridge Area Special Olympics.

Edward (Teddy) Holmes Corcoran (Rochester, New York) is a philosophy major and Africana studies minor. He is a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, the men’s varsity golf team, a four-time scholar-athlete and received First-Team All-ODAC honors. He is the founder and editor in chief of The Mudd Journal of Ethics and director of the journal’s accompanying inaugural conference. He is vice president of both Phi Sigma Tau Philosophy Honor Society and Philosophy Club, an opinions writer for the Ring-tum Phi. He was captain of W&L’s first-place 2015 VFIC Ethics Bowl team and is a member of 24 Student-Athlete group.

Maya Epelbaum (Morristown, New Jersey) is a psychology major and environmental studies and philosophy minor. A Johnson Scholar, she is president of the Student Environmental Action League, captain of the Compost Crew and trip leader of the Outing Club. She is Torah study leader and past community service vice president and communications vice president for Hillel. She is a member of Beta Beta Beta, Phi Eta Sigma and Psi Chi Psychology Honor Society, and she received the A. Paul Knight Scholarship for conservation research.

Johanna Goergen (Kinnelon, New Jersey) is a computer science and mathematics double major. She serves as resident adviser, an LGBT peer counselor and a teaching assistant for computer science. She served as the computer science officer and vice president for Women in Technology and Science. She is the senior class liaison in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Margaret Anne Hammer (Boston) is an English major and a mass communications and creative writing minor. A recipient of the George A. Mahan Award for Creative Writing, she is also the vice president of recruitment on the Panhellenic Council and was on the council since her first year. She is a resident adviser, has interned for Shenandoah and was a chair on the Voting Regulations Board.

David Heinen (Milwaukee) is a psychology major. A Johnson Scholar, he serves as a peer counselor and a Writing Center tutor. He is vice president of Slow Food W&L, a founding member of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program and a tenor in the University Singers. He received an HHMI Research Grant, a Kendrick Award and a Johnson Opportunity Grant.

Katherine Renée Hodges (Durham, North Carolina) is an economics and politics double major. A member of Phi Eta Sigma, she received the John McKenzie Gunn Scholarship in Economics and was political chair of the 2016 Mock Convention. She was a senior market launch advisor for HavenLock, summer business consultant at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management and a Washington Term intern with the Richard G. Lugar Center in Washington.

Richard (Randy) Karlson (Hudson, Massachusetts) is a politics and mass communications double major. He is a captain on the football team and co-director of communications for the 2016 Mock Convention. He received the ODAC All-Academic Award for the past three years. For the past two years, he interned with Van Scoyoc Associates, a lobbying firm in Washington and for Rep. Kate Hogan at the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He has published in the Washington and Lee Political Review.

Brian Michael Krouskos (Alpharetta, Georgia) is an accounting and business administration major and computer science minor. A four-year member of the men’s tennis team, he has twice been named to the All-ODAC first team. He is an associate director of the Williams Investment Society and worked with Washington and Lee Student Consulting 2013–2014. He is a Eucharistic minister for Catholic Campus Ministry and a peer tutor for introductory accounting and computer science classes.

Paul Villere Lagarde Jr. (Mobile, Alabama) is a politics major and philosophy minor. A recipient of the M.J. Reis Honor Scholarship, he was a class representative on the Executive Committee 2013–2015. He helped re-start the Washington and Lee Spectator magazine and was its editor in chief for two years.

Juan Cruz Mayol (Mar del Plata, Argentina) is a physics-engineering and economics major. He is president of Engineers Without Borders and co-president of Sigma Pi Sigma, the physics honors society.  He is co-director of the Entrepreneurs and Inventors Society and was vice-president of Phi Kappa Psi. He was involved in the establishment of the International Student Collaboration Program, and researched and developed a concept for an eco snowboard in Argentina.  He served on the editorial committee of Pluma, the Spanish language creative writing magazine.

Bruce McCuskey (Saint Albans, West Virginia) is majoring in history, philosophy and classics. He has completed the Virginia Program at Oxford, the City University of New York Summer Greek Institute and the Notre Dame Medieval Latin Summer Program. He was published in Vexillium: The Undergraduate Journal of Classical and Medieval Studies and The Columbia Undergraduate Journal of Undergraduate Studies. He studied abroad during his junior year at Hertford College, University of Oxford. He teaches religious education classes at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Lexington, and serves on the leadership team of the Catholic Campus Ministry. He is the political research officer for the Iowa delegation of the 2016 Mock Convention. An inductee into Phi Beta Kappa, he holds the Martin Baldwin Whittaker Scholarship in history.

William Payson Miller (Charlotte, North Carolina) is an accounting and business administration major and a recipient of the L.K. Johnson-Rosasco Scholarship. A member of the accounting honor society Beta Alpha Psi, he is active in Kathekon, the Student Recruitment Committee and 2016 Mock Convention. He is a peer counselor, a lead class agent and a member of the Reformed University Fellowship Ministry Team.

Kevin Ortiz (Charlotte, North Carolina) is a politics and sociology/anthropology double major and education minor. A Johnson Scholar, he received the McJunkin Endowment for Student Engagement and the Endeavor International Student Collaboration Grant. He is a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (politics) and Phi Eta Sigma honor societies, is a peer tutor, co-chair of the FYOC Perspectives event, alternate justice on the Student Judicial Council, tour guide and is a political analyst for the 2016 Mock Convention.

Nicole Simpson (Wayzata, Minnesota) is a business administration and East Asian languages and literature double major. A member of the Campus Kitchen Leadership Team and Kathekon, she was a peer tutor, tour guide and university big sister. She is the philanthropy chair of her sorority and is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies.

Madison Smith (Marietta, Georgia) is an economics major and poverty studies and education minor. An R.E. Lee Scholar, she is the co-chair of Kathekon and the president of Kappa Alpha Theta. She is the events chair for the 2016 Mock Convention and is on the Reformed University Fellowship Ministry Team.

Dillon Stanfield (Cincinnati) is a biology major and studio art minor. A four-year member of the Washington and Lee football team and senior captain, he participated in the General’s Leadership Academy. A member of TriBeta National Biological Honor Society, Alpha Epsilon Delta Premedical Honor Society and Fellowship of Christian Athletes, he received the W&L Scholar Athlete Award and ODAC All-Academic Award. He was an Outing Club trip leader and volunteers for the Rockbridge County chapter of Habitat for Humanity.

Chase Weber (Wayne, Pennsylvania) is a biology major. He is assistant head resident adviser of the First-Year Leadership Council and was general co-chair of the First-Year Orientation Committee. He founded the W&L Boxing Club, is publicity chair for the Pan Asian Association for Cultural Exchange and volunteers at Stonewall Jackson Hospital. He was a small group leader for the Generals Christian Fellowship and a Summer Research Scholar.

Xiaoxiang Yang (Vermillion, South Dakota) is an economics, physics and mathematics major. An international student from China, he has received the Edwin Claybrook Griffith Scholarship in Economics; the Williams Prize in Mathematics; the Physics, Engineering Sophomore Award; and a 2015 Johnson Opportunity Grant. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Epsilon National Economics Honor Society, Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society, Sigma Pi Sigma National Physics Honor Society and Phi Eta Sigma. He is a peer tutor, a mathematics tutor and a teaching assistant for Intro to Physics. He has played the violin in the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra. He and two other students founded the Racquet Sports Club.

Undergraduate Class of 2017

Diana Banks (Glenwood Springs, Colorado) is a business administration major. A Robert E. Lee Scholar, she received the Jack S. Callicott ’49 Honor Scholarship and the Douglas Halstead Scholarship and is head resident adviser for staff development. She is a member of the LEAD Team and the key staff for the Outing Club. She is president of Slow Food W&L, CRUX Climbing Team and is an instructor in W&L’s group exercise program.

Matthew Carl (Edmond, Oklahoma) is an economics and German double major and mathematics minor. A member of Phi Eta Sigma, he received the James Wood Prize and is a Buford S. Stephenson Scholar (German department). A co-founder and co-director of Friday Underground Productions, Matthew is a resident adviser, a DAAD Young Ambassador, co-president of the German Club and co-chair of logistics for the Contact Committee. He played on the varsity men’s soccer team 2013–2015 and was on the ODAC Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.

Elliot Emadian (Normandy, Tennessee) is a mathematics major and dance minor. A national merit scholar, he is a resident adviser, activities chair for the First-Year Orientation Committee and a tour guide. He is co-president of the W&L Repertory Dance Company and belongs to Nu Delta Alpha National Honor Society (dance). He was vice president of fellowship for Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, a member of Phi Eta Sigma, and received the Francis P. Gaines Scholarship and the Todd Jones Memorial Scholarship.

Sam Gibson (Jamestown, North Carolina) is a history and politics double major and French minor. A Johnson Scholar, he is secretary of the Student Judicial Council, is a peer counselor and is the California state chair for 2016 Mock Convention. He is a member of W&L’s Mock Trial team and the co-editor in chief of the Political Review.

John Wilson Miller II (Dallas) is an economics and studio art double major. A recipient of the Dallas Alumni Chapter Honor Scholarship, Wilson belongs to Phi Eta Sigma and is the Texas state chair for 2016 Mock Convention. He is vice president of the Executive Committee and was EC secretary and class representative.

Austin Piatt (Dayton, Ohio) is a double major in politics (with a focus in American government) and philosophy. A member of the men’s basketball team, he is a resident assistant and coordinator of the peer tutors. He is a member of Phi Eta Sigma, Kathekon and the 24 Student-Athlete Group. He is an alternate justice for the Student Judicial Council, writer-researcher for the Mock Convention Platform Committee, editor for The Mudd Journal for Ethics, student representative on the Community Grants Committee and a tour guide. He served on the White Book Review Committee and received the John Warner Public Service Award.

Noelle Rutland (St. Petersburg, Florida) is a global politics and Spanish double major. A Bonner Scholar, she is chair of in-school tutoring for English for Speakers of Other Languages and Lexington trip senior coordinator for the Volunteer Venture program. For her work as the project manager of the Facing Sexual Violence Project, she received the 2015 W&L Decade Award. She has been accepted into several competitive internship programs, including the Shepherd Internship and Washington Term and was a 2015 recipient of the Gilday-Roberts Internship Fund. She was vice president of communications for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women and is Pi Phi’s vice president of fraternity development.

Katrina Karen-Xiaoming Spiezio (Taunton, Massachusetts) is a politics and studio art double major. A QuestBridge Scholar and Phi Eta Sigma member, she received the DuPont/Hearst Essential Opportunities Grant, the Gilman Scholarship for study abroad in China and the Evans International Experience Grant for a Shepherd Internship in the Dominican Republic. She is a Bonner Scholar, Volunteer Venture leader, secretary of the Club Polo Team, belongs to the W&L Repertory Dance Company and is a member of Phonathon and Kathekon.

Law Class of 2016

John Zachary Balasko (Morgantown, West Virginia) is a 2013 magna cum laude graduate of West Virginia University, with a degree in international studies and world languages, literatures and linguistics. He is lead articles editor for the Washington and Lee Law Review and managing editor of the German Law Journal. Upon graduation, he will serve as a law clerk for the Hon. Paul M. Black, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke.

Alexandra Lian Klein (Staunton, Virginia) graduated cum laude from Virginia Commonwealth University (2007), where she majored in theater with a concentration in costume design. She is a member of the Public Interest Law Student Association, is senior articles editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review and is a resource assistant. She belongs to the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse. She interned with the Virginia Capital Representation Resource Center and with the Office of the Federal Public Defender. Her note, “The Freedom to Pursue a Common Calling: Applying Intermediate Scrutiny to Occupational Licensing,” won the 2015 Washington and Lee Law Council Law Review Award and will be published in the Law Review in 2016.

Claire Leonard (Washington) is a graduate of Vanderbilt University (2011) where she was a political science major. She is managing editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review and received the Roy L. Steinheimer Law Review Award for Outstanding Student Note. She is a student caseworker in the Black Lung Clinic. She was a judicial intern for a U.S. District judge in the District of Columbia, and upon graduation will work as an associate for White & Case in Washington.

Markus X. Murden (Orlando, Florida) graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2013, where he majored in legal studies and philosophy. He works as a McThenia Research Assistant and serves on the board of the Black Law Student Association. He intends to return to Florida and start a practice in criminal defense.

Charlotte Weatherford Rhodes (Huntsville, Alabama) is a graduate of Southern Methodist University (2012), where she majored in mathematics and economics. She is an executive editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review and was a student attorney in the W&L Tax Clinic. Upon graduation, she will work as an associate for Baker Hostetler in Cleveland, Ohio.

Luke Stone (Dallas) graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in business administration. At W&L, he served as a sports czar, president of the Federalist Society, member of the Student Judicial Council and treasurer of the Christian Legal Society. He has interned at Norton Rose Fulbright the past two summers.

Brooke Alexandra Weedon (Richmond, Virginia) is a graduate of the University of Virginia (2013) and majored in foreign affairs and Spanish. She is an executive editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review, lead articles editor of the German Law Journal and a hearing advisor for the Student Judicial Council and the Executive Committee. After graduation, she will clerk for a federal district judge before joining McGuireWoods LLP as an associate in the business and securities litigation practice group.

Law Class of 2017

Lucas M. Barta (Glendale, California) is a graduate of Virginia Tech (2014), where he was president of the Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Chapter and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in English. He is a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and is a Kirgis Fellow mentoring first year law students. This summer, he will be working as a summer associate for Morrison Foerster LLP’s corporate practice in northern Virginia.

Leanna Catherine Minix (Salem, Virginia) is a graduate of Davidson College (2012), where she majored in philosophy. She is a hearing adviser for students accused of violating the Washington and Lee Honor System and mentors first-year law students as a Kirgis Fellow. She is a staff writer on the Washington and Lee Law Review and will start a yearlong internship and externship position with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Roanoke this summer.

Dean McNair Nichols Jr. (Harrisonburg, Virginia) graduated with a degree in history from Wheaton College (Illinois). He is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review, is a member of the Lewis F. Powell Jr. Distinguished Lecture Series Board, mentors first-year law students as a Kirgis Fellow and is vice justice of Phi Alpha Delta. He co-won the John W. Davis Appellate Advocacy Brief Writing Competition.

Jessica Ann Winn (Newberg, Oregon) is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University (2007), where she majored in political science with a minor in technical theater production. She is a law ambassador and is active on the boards of the Women Law Students Organization, American Constitution Society and Public Interest Law Student Association. She is a staff writer for the Washington and Lee Law Review and a junior editor for the German Law Journal. She is a research assistant for Professors Todd C. Peppers and Johanna E. Bond.

W&L Law’s Chris Seaman Co-authors Amicus Brief in Supreme Court Patent Case

Washington and Lee law professor Chris Seaman has co-authored an amicus brief in an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case. The brief, written with Prof. Jason Rantanen of the University of Iowa College of Law and filed with the Court on December 16, 2015, involves the legal standard for increasing damages awards in patent infringement cases.

The brief addresses two recent cases that the Court has consolidated for decision.  Both cases, Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics (No. 14-1513) and Stryker Corporation v. Zimmer, Inc. (No. 14-1520), deal with a federal statute that authorizes trial courts to award increased damages to a prevailing patent owner in litigation. In the Halo case, the trial judge ruled against an award of enhanced damages, and in the Stryker case, the trial court awarded triple damages to the patentee.  Both cases were appealed to the Federal Circuit, which affirmed the ruling in Halo and struck down the enhanced award in Stryker.

“Willful infringement is the appropriate, and only, basis for increasing damages in patent cases,” says Seaman.  “This is clear from over a century of case law prior to the 1952 Patent Act, which incorporated this well-settled understanding.”

In their brief, Professors Seaman and Rantanen argue that the Supreme Court should overrule a two-part, objective/subjective test first adopted by the Federal Circuit in 2007 for determining when an infringer’s conduct was willful and thus eligible for increased damages.  In particular, the objective prong of the current test, which involves determining the probability of patent infringement, is overly restrictive and often ends the matter before the intention of the infringer is ever considered, they argue.

“We worry that such a restrictive barrier to increased awards may reduce incentives to innovate, especially among start-ups who often can’t afford the high costs of litigation,” says Seaman.

Argument in the cases is scheduled for Feb. 23. Seaman plans to be at the Supreme Court to watch the proceedings in person, with students from his Intellectual Property class in tow.

Professor Seaman has written about this issue previously in an article titled, “Willful Patent Infringement and Enhanced Damages After In re Seagate: An Empirical Study,” published in the Iowa Law Review in 2012. His research and teaching interests include intellectual property, property, and civil procedure, with a particular focus on intellectual property litigation and remedies for the violation of intellectual property rights.

Author, Radio Host and Professor of Sociology Michael Eric Dyson Keynotes Washington and Lee's Multi-day King Celebration

Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, will highlight a series of lectures, panel discussions and a viewing and discussion of “Selma” when Washington and Lee University holds its annual observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day Jan. 15–21.

Dyson will present the keynote address, “Reviving the Revolutionary King,” on Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. in Lee Chapel. His speech and all other events in the multi-day program, Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., are free and open to the public.

In addition to Dyson’s keynote, events will include lectures by several distinguished scholars, including a Mudd Center for Ethics Lecture by University of Southern California professor Claudia Rankine; a panel discussion on the Future of Voting Rights after Shelby County; the annual children’s MLK Birthday Party; and the Reflections Dinner.

The complete schedule follows.

Dyson, a prolific author, radio host and public intellectual, was named by Essence magazine as one of the 50 most inspiring African Americans in the U.S. He has taken on tough and controversial issues, including race, politics and pop culture.

He has written or edited 18 books including “April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King’s Death and How it Changed America” (2008) and “Debating Race” (2007). In his 2006 book “Come Hell or High Water: Hurricane Katrina and the Color of Disaster,” Dyson analyzed the political and social events in the wake of the catastrophe against the backdrop of an overall “failure in race and class relations” (Publishers Weekly).

Dyson won the American Book Award for “Come Hell or High Water” in 2007 and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work-Non Fiction in 2004 and 2006 for “Why I Love Black Women” (2002) and “Is Bill Cosby Right?: or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind” (2005).

Dyson hosted a show on Radio One from January 2006 to February 2007. He was also a commentator on National Public Radio and CNN and is a regular guest on “Real Time with Bill Maher.” In July 2011, he became a political analyst for MSNBC. He hosts a radio show on NPR member station WAMU 88.5 in Washington, D.C.

The complete schedule of events:

Jan. 15
11:30 a.m.—2:30 p.m., Elrod Commons Living Room
Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Week Kickoff
King will be toasted with cupcakes and punch on his actual birthday and the start of the six-day celebration.

Jan. 17
6 p.m., Lee Chapel
Keynote Address: “Reviving the Revolutionary King.” Michael Eric Dyson, University Professor of Sociology, Georgetown University, author and radio host
Reception following in Evans Dining Hall

Jan. 18
11 a.m.–1 p.m., Elrod Commons
Children’s Birthday Party for Martin Luther King Jr.

3–4:30 p.m., Millhiser Moot Court Room, School of Law panel discussion, From Poll Taxes to Voter ID Laws: The Future of Voting Rights After Shelby County
Moderator: Chris Seaman, associate professor of law, W&L School of Law
Panelists: Nicole Austin-Hillery, director and counsel of the Washington, D.C., office of the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice; Atiba Ellis, professor of law, West Virginia University College of Law; Mark Rush, Waxberg Professor of Politics and Law and director of international education, Washington and Lee University

4:30–5:30 p.m., Hillel Multipurpose Room
In His Own Words: Lessons from Dr. King for Today
A student-led discussion of the relevance of one of Dr. King’s speeches to our community today
Moderator: Howard Pickett, director, Shepherd Poverty Program|
Facilitators: Teddy Corcoran, John Juneau, MaKayla Lorick, Elizabeth Mugo

6 p.m., Evans Dining Hall
Reflections Dinner
RSVP required

Jan. 19
12:20–1:30 p.m., Science Center Addition, Room 202A
Brown Bag Lunch, a talk by James Peterson, director of Africana Studies, associate professor of English, Lehigh University.
RSVP required

Jan. 20
4:30 p.m., Stackhouse Theater
Mudd Center for Ethics/King Week Lecture: Claudia Rankine, poet and Aerol Arnold Chair of English, University of Southern California, will speak on “The Creative Imagination and Race: The Making of ‘Citizen.’ ”

Jan. 21
6 p.m., Stackhouse Theater
Viewing of the movie “Selma” with discussion following.
Moderators: Emahunn Raheem Ali Campbell, assistant professor of English, Washington and Lee University; Ted DeLaney, associate professor of history, Washington and Lee University; Chris Seaman, associate professor of law, Washington and Lee University School of Law


Registration for W&L's Real Estate Forum Now Open

Washington and Lee’s inaugural Real Estate Forum, set to take place in Washington, D.C. on May 5-6, 2016, is now open for registration.

The forum is for alumni working in the real estate industry and will feature networking sessions, panel discussions and a luncheon keynote address. A reception will take place on Thursday evening and programming will extend through the early afternoon on Friday. On Friday afternoon, there will be an optional tour of several properties under development by W&L alumni. The goal of this event is to help alumni in the industry further develop professional relationships and engage with the growing real estate program on campus.

Tickets cost $175 per person; alumni in the classes of 2014 and 2015 can purchase a discounted ticket for $125. Registration is currently capped at 75 alumni, so attendees are encouraged to register early to guarantee a spot. Information about the schedule and W&L’s hotel block can be found on the Forum’s website.

This event is jointly sponsored by the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics, the W&L Alumni Association, and the Office of Career Development.

Nyeema Morgan’s “I, Rhinoceros” Exhibited at W&L’s Staniar Gallery

Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery is pleased to present “I, Rhinoceros,” an exhibit by New York-based artist, Nyeema Morgan. The show is exhibited until Feb. 10.

Morgan will give a public artist’s talk on Jan. 26 at 5:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall’s Concert Hall. The lecture will be followed by a reception for the artist. The exhibition and reception event are free and open to the public.

Morgan, a conceptual artist, will present works on paper and sculpture in her exhibition “I, Rhinoceros.” The show’s title is derived from German artist Albrecht Dürer’s 1515 woodblock print, Rhinoceros, in which he rendered the likeness of an exotic animal he had never seen based only on a written description.

Dürer’s print was considered an accurate representation until the animal was imported to the region revealing the work’s glaring discrepancies. The narrative behind the creation of the artist’s print inspired much of Morgan’s work for this exhibition, as she explores notions of visual communication and how it shapes our understanding of the world.

Morgan’s work has been featured in many exhibitions including The Drawing Center, Art in General and The Studio Museum (New York City) and The Bindery Projects (Minneapolis).

Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall, in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, please call (540) 458-8861.

W&L Psychology Professor Julie Woodzicka to Lecture on Disparagement Humor in her Inaugural Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship

Julie Woodzicka, professor of psychology at Washington and Lee University, will give her inaugural lecture marking her appointment as the Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professor on Jan. 15, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library.

She will speak on “Just a Joke? The Social Consequences of Disparagement Humor.” The talk is free and open to the public. It will be broadcast live online.

Woodzicka is the co-author of numerous articles, including “It’s Just a (Sexist) Joke: Comparing Reactions to Sexist Versus Racist Communications” (2015) in “Humor: International Journal of Humor Research;” “A Successful Model of Collaborative Undergraduate Research: A Multi-faculty, Multi-project, Multi-institution Team Approach” (2015) in “Teaching of Psychology;” and “Not All Groups are Equal: Differential Vulnerability of Social Groups to the Prejudice-releasing Effects of Disparagement Humor” (2014) in “Group Processes and Intergroup Relations.”

Woodzicka earned her B.A. at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her M.A. at the University of Dayton and her Ph.D. from Boston College, spending the last two years of her program in residence at Yale University.

She joined the faculty at Washington and Lee in 2000, and co-taught W&L’s inaugural women’s and gender studies introductory course. Woodzicka’s research explores the interpersonal and social consequences of subtle prejudice and discrimination, most recently the effects of sexist and racist humor.

Woodzicka is certified in the Facial Action Coding System, allowing her to examine nuanced facial expressions. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, Council on Undergraduate Research and the American Psychological Foundation.

She has served as chairperson for W&L’s Science, Society and the Arts undergraduate research conference and the Institutional Review Board for Research with Human Subjects. She has been a member of many W&L committees, including the President’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, Student Affairs Committee, Student Faculty Hearing Board, Women’s and Gender Studies Advisory Committee and Faculty Athletics Mentor Program (swimming).

The Abigail Grigsby Urquhart ’11 Term Professorship, established in 2007-2008 by her parents A. William and Mary Urquhart, is a permanently endowed fund at Washington and Lee University providing support for a University faculty member judged to be excellent in teaching and in professional contributions.

Aida Mitsuo Calligraphy Exhibit Reception to Show Many Different Styles of Calligraphy

The Aida Mitsuo Calligraphy exhibit reception, co-curated by the Washington and Lee University Japanese Program, will be Jan. 14, 4:30–5:30 p.m. in Leyburn’s Main Floor Exhibit Niche.

The reception will include green tea and Senbei, a type of Japanese rice cracker.

On a recent trip to Tokyo, Janet Ikeda, associate professor of Japanese and department head of East Asian Languages and Literatures, visited the Aida Mitsuo Museum and decided that Aida’s writings would be an appropriate theme for the Japanese Program this year at W&L.

In a calligraphy workshop the students learned the basics of writing with a brush. In the Japanese Program, each selected an Aida phrase for their calligraphy practice and could imitate the writing style of Aida or develop their own unique calligraphy style. Each student memorized a phrase and produced a final masterpiece for this exhibition. English translations of each phrase will be provided at the exhibition.

“Mitsuo Aida (1924-1991) was a Japanese calligrapher and poet with a distinctive style of writing with brush and ink,” said Ikeda. “Many of his writings reflect his deep appreciation for life. His words resonate with many people and have become a summons for us all to take a moment out of our busy lives to realize the preciousness of the here and now.”

“We hope these words inspire many in the university community as we start a new year,” said Ikeda.

John Fishwick ’83L Confirmed as U.S. Attorney for Western District

Roanoke attorney John Fishwick, who graduated from Washington and Lee University’s School of Law in 1983, was confirmed as U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in on Dec. 21, as reported in the Dec. 21 issue of The Roanoke Times.

Fishwick, who has practices criminal and civil law, clerked for the late U.S. District Court Judge James Turk ’52L.

U.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine recommended Fishwick to President Barack Obama, who sent his nomination of Fishwick to the Senate in October. The Senate Judiciary Committee endorsed Fishwick in mid-December with a voice vote, which the senators said was unanimous. The confirmation with a voice vote was also unanimous.

Philosophy Professor Lars Svendsen to Lecture in Questioning Passion Series

Lars Svendsen, professor of philosophy at the University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway, will lecture on Jan. 14, 2016, at 4:30 p.m. in Stackhouse Theater, Elrod Commons, as part of Washington and Lee University’s year-long Questioning Passion series.

Svendsen will speak on “Boredom and Meaning in Life.” His talk is free and open to the public.

In “A Philosophy of Boredom” (2005), Svendsen investigates one of the central preoccupations of our age by probing the nature of boredom, how it originated, how and why it afflicts us and why we cannot seem to overcome it by any act of will.

He is the author of 12 books, with six available in English, in addition to “A Philosophy of Boredom.” They include “A Philosophy of Freedom” (2014); “A Philosophy of Evil” (2010); “A Philosophy of Fear” (2008); and “Fashion: A Philosophy” (2006). A new book on loneliness has just been released in Norway. Svendsen’s books have been translated into 27 languages.

“Arguably understood as the absence of passion,” said Jeff Kosky, professor of religion, “boredom seemed to me and the other organizers of Questioning Passion an especially appropriate place from which to interrogate the significance of passion and the passions.

“We wanted to introduce a consideration of boredom into the Questioning Passion series’ ongoing conversation so we turned to Lars Svendsen. His writing displays a remarkable talent for bringing to a popular audience deep understandings of complicated philosophical and literary treatments of particular moods, including fear, loneliness, and most important to us, boredom.”